Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw is raising some points about the issue Republicans are having when it comes to winning political battles. Some of these points I agree with wholeheartedly, and others I don’t.
Writing an op-ed for the Daily Wire, Crenshaw cut right to one of the biggest gaps in the Republican offense; its inability to persuade others by winning their hearts. Today, we use the term “fighting” to indicate “owning the libs” and garnering online clout from people who already agree with us, or giving speeches to a group of people that contain zero people with an opposing ideological stance.
“These versions of “fighting” have their place, but I do not pretend that speaking to ourselves in what amounts to a conservative safe space will bring us anywhere close to real cultural and political progress — and it will not persuade anyone new to vote Republican,” Crenshaw wrote.
Crenshaw exposed the intent of some conservative “influencers” who talk a big game but, in reality, prefer to be on the losing side because it allows them to use their outrage platform for monetary gain:
This has caused our movement to engage in unwinnable battles, seemingly on purpose. I recently wrote about the utter futility and pointlessness of the congressional objections on January 6th (never mind that the entire charade was also deeply unconstitutional), and how dishonest politicians and influencers convinced millions of Americans that January 6th could be the moment we finally turn it all around.
Crenshaw points out that “fighting” is more than just grandstanding, it’s actually working towards goals in order to win battles.
“Real fighting is actually hard. It takes strategic thinking and wit. It means engaging in arguments with well-conceived, airtight logic,” wrote Crenshaw. “It means presenting our case with a moderate audience in mind, across a variety of platforms. It means actually understanding conservative principles and understanding how those principles make for superior governance and policy solutions.”
“It means taking the time to understand how and where government works, so that people aren’t storming the Capitol to solve a problem that can only be solved at the state level,” he continued. “In Congress, it means taking the time and effort to write legislation that has a chance of passing and moving forward conservative principles, even if it’s not everything we want, instead of introducing hopeless pipedream legislation that never has a chance of passing, but will get an applause at a rally.”
Crenshaw agrees with the conservative complaint that many in the Republican party didn’t fight hard enough, but now is the time to learn how to fight more effectively. It’s time to do more than have a guest spot on Fox News. It’s time to start demanding debates with the opposing side.
“Conservatism is a winning message if we deliver it with intellectual honesty and confidence and pride,” wrote Crenshaw. “We don’t need to hide our principles or policies from moderates, as many have done in the past, but instead explain why they work.”
Crenshaw then made it clear that it’s going to take more than debate. We need to begin pushing into pop-culture.
“We need to learn to work proactively within the institutions that the left has so successfully taken over – academia, pop culture, and the media. We need to speak to more people than just our own tribe. It will take a lot more work, but the payoff is worth it,” he concluded.
Crenshaw is right in a few regards. Republicans do have an issue with fighting but not fighting to win. There does seem to be a complete satisfaction with getting cheered for and thinking the day has been won. In reality, that’s hardly scratching the surface of what Republicans should be doing. Direct debate, and not necessarily online, is what’s needed now. Republican politicians should be challenging their opponents on the floor to answer tough questions and defend their own points.
However, I do think that shows of resistance are good for morale. Hawley and Cruz objecting to the certification of the election may have been DOA but the effects of its symbolism and the fact that the two made millions of people felt like they were being heard is worth its weight in gold. Fighting unwinnable battles doesn’t necessarily constitute a complete loss. Sometimes the message that gets across or the symbol that the battle becomes is what spurs people on to future victories.
Crenshaw, a fellow Texan, should know all about that from our state’s history.
However, Crenshaw lands on one point that I think is far more poignant, and it’s one that I’ve been shouting from the rooftops for years.
We have to begin making inroads into the mainstream media, and not just with news. We need to begin actively working our way into movie and television studios, game development, broadway, and every improv and comedy stage in between.
Winning hearts is very easy for the left to do despite their clearly anti-prosperity driven agendas and backward adherence to methods and systems that have never succeeded in the past. It’s easy for them to do because they control the largest stage in the world, and from that stage, they can craft and foster any narrative they please with no pushback.
If Conservatives really want to begin making inroads into convincing the people, then Crenshaw is correct, we need to begin making massive pushes into the culture.
Remember, Hollywood and the culture may be under the control of the left but it does not belong to them.